Saturday, August 04, 2012

Replacement refs

I know, I'm not supposed to be here.   

I'll admit I haven't been really following the dolphins since I left, but I'm still a fan and generally know about the team and was out at training camp last week. And I might even watch hard knocks!

And I will watch football in any case. 

I couldn't help but hear about the Referees Association and their contentious relationship with the nfl. It certainly doesn't get the press that the players lockout did last year. But it seems to me it's no less important. 

The commish talks about safety and the integrity of the game. But the group that is *most* directly responsible for both is going to be replaced by a new group of untrained people off the street?  Now I'm not saying these guys can't do it, rather I'm saying they have never been around the size and speed of the nfl players, and are unlikely to be prepared for the subtleties of the game. 

The refs association has a sort of apprentice program; get good at understanding the rules, watch games, take tests, then get on the field as the alternate for some games, and work your way through the system. 

And it seems to me that's been effective. 

So player safety may be at risk. And also as risk is legal action. While the ref association has stated they are not planning on it, legal action may be their only recourse. What if they decide to press the issue?  Could they cause the nfl to stop play?  Who knows. 

But I think this is an issue the commish needs to resolve here and now. With only a day before faux games start, he needs to get 'er done!
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